An actress and dancer has sued pop star Britney Spears in Los Angeles Superior Court for allegedly breaking her nose during a rehearsal and refusing to pay her medical bills.
The woman, Dawn Noel, filed the lawsuit Monday claiming she was injured on Aug. 19, 2013, during a rehearsal at a private dance studio in Woodland Hills, north of Los Angeles, for Spears' music video for her single "Work Bitch."
In the complaint obtained by NBC News, Noel says that she arrived at 10 a.m. and rehearsed with other dancers and the choreographer until Spears arrived at 12:30 p.m. "in a disheveled and confused state." Although the choreography involving Spears "was fairly basic," she was "having difficulty learning the moves, performing dances steps and following simple directions," according to the lawsuit.
"After approximately half an hour of rehearsing, as (Noel) stood off to (Spears') side, Britney twirled in an unbalanced and reckless manner, arms extended out to her sides, and forcefully backhanded (Noel) in the face," the complaint alleges."
Denise Truscello / AP
Britney Spears rehearses "Britney: Piece of Me" at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas in 2013.
The impact was so hard, the lawsuit alleges, that Noel and the other dancers "heard a cracking sound which they immediately knew to be the sound of (Noel's) nose breaking."
Noel "felt immediate intense pain and grabbed her nose," and Spears just said "sorry" and continued to attempt to learn her routine, the complaint states.
Noel tried to rehearse for another half hour before having to leave to see a doctor. She was diagnosed with nasal bone fractures and advised that she would need surgery.
According to the complaint, Spears and Reign Deer Entertainment agreed to pay her medical bills. Months later, Spears' representatives advised Noel that they would not pay for her treatment, the suit alleges.
Noel is also claiming her injuries resulted in "permanent disability" and prevented her from working, resulting in loss of present and future wages. The complaint charges battery and negligence but does not include specific monetary damages.
Attorneys for Spears did not respond immediately to calls from NBC News.
First published May 5 2014, 3:55 PM